The Obsessive Compulsive Blog About Life and Beauty
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly...".....................................................................................obsessivecompulsivebeauty.blogspot.com
[Insert pic of me hugging mannequin with pitiful tears in my eyes]
As a fashion design major, people always ask me: why don't you wear the clothes you make? Why don't you let other people wear them or make something for other people? Critical older adults especially like to ask: Did you make what you are wearing right now? Can you make something for me or help me with something? You never talk about your major. Why?
The answer I've always held in and never said out loud because I've never felt comfortable or ready to talk about is: because I don't want to. Don't want to? What are you talking about? Fashion designing is about making clothes, for people, and it's impossible to become a designer if you have no desire to make clothing for other people.
5-6 years later in my program, I realized something. It's not that I don't have the desire to make things for other people, I do, I wanted to make functional pretty things, that's why I went into this field, it's just that I have no confidence in my work, and talking about my major became a source of pain for me.
I used to be so proud of being a fashion design major, and I really loved it when I first started, but that doesn't change the fact that it's freaking hard. I struggled through the program at my school, even though I love it so much, and though by this point I think I've got the basics of it down pretty well, I tend to think the things I make aren't good enough to make it out into the real world.
Lord knows why as there are worse things out there people are wearing compared to mine, but I'm a hardcore perfectionist when it comes to creative things, especially clothing, and the fact that someone could be wearing those clothes when they're not perfect makes it even worse.
Here's a quote said by my friend a while ago that really resonated with me. If you've ever struggled with perfectionism before, you know in life that its' impossible for anything to be perfect. I've written a post like this somewhere in the past, it's deleted now and on my bucket list to reedit and republish, but this pretty much sums up the problem I have with perfectionism.
"Practice makes improvement." NOT, Perfect.
It's hard for me to finish something and let it fly out into the world when it's not. I will always be constantly looking at whatever I made after and identifying/cataloguing the things I could've fixed. It's a wonder how I'm even still publishing things on this blog, what with all the mistakes I see and potential new slews of editing to deplete. How? By crushing down the constant urge to take everything down and do it all over again. That's how you get shit done.
In regards to fashion design, I tend to assume that almost all the clothing we buy from the store is finished and perfect, even though that's largely not true if you look close enough. Clothing construction has a lot of labor that goes into it's production, and most on the market today are average quality. Minimally good enough. Quality just enough to be complete, save money, time, and function.
After all, if your shirt sleeve isn't even sewn on, you can't wear it right? I'm not saying that I want to make clothing with that minimum of quality, it's just that I have to accept that no matter what I make, anything above that quality threshold is good enough. If you want to shoot for sky high quality you might as well become a luxury designer, which I respect, and charge outrageous amounts for your work, the best of the best, but I don't think that's something I want to do.
I want to make things that serve a purpose, but of decent quality and price that can be worn again and again and again. It seems to be taboo to wear the same things over and over in the fashion world, or for 2 straight days, why?, and the only purpose good enough for me is to make something that others can wear everyday, for style but also FUNCTION.
Whether that feeling takes hold and becomes a reason for my existence or a beloved passing hobby, only time will tell.
Costumes are cool and it's very satisfying for the designer to be able to design them, but most will only be worn once, and after a production run is over the costume becomes kind of useless. It's gorgeous and respected and sits in a museum as homage to the production, or in some cases, may be reused/recycled, no offense to costume designers, you're awesome and your work is amazing, but as a career option it's most likely not for me.
I recently fell in love with the active wear brand Burton, and it's line of winter coats. I loved their jacket designs so much that I actually considered interning for the company and doing more research into the active wear industry.
I never thought I'd be interested in making active wear, mainly because it's an industry based around high tech knowledge of textiles and the latest fabric advancements, fashion design majors do have knowledge on textiles but not to that extent, but I love looking at what other people are wearing when they are out. I recently came back from a trip to Big Bear where I tried snowboarding for the first time, and the Snow Culture I saw there was amazing.
It was so interesting oogling what other people chose to wear in those specific weather conditions, and not all of them were your standard poofy coats.
Active wear I think lacks functional basics. Though the designs are all about function and comfort, it's hard to find some that actually look good and aren't extremely bright colors, which for some people, including myself, especially when it comes to running attire, don't like.
I fell in love with the outdoors during a time when my world was very dark, and though I can feel that love slowly fading, as most of my obsessions do when time goes on, does anyone else go through obsessive phases in life too or is only me?, and the idea of knowing that something I made could be helping someone stay warm or go out adventuring in the world is a really great feeling. When the apocalypse finally comes, what would you be rather wearing? A stylish top purely for aesthetic purposes, or a greatly made functional jacket?
Probably the one that would enhance your chances of survival.
There are a lot of things I'm struggling with right now as a person, but this perfectionism poop is one of those things that I need to let go. I get anxious about a lot of things, and as a result I tend to think too much, to the point where I freak out or second guess myself, but since I'm in the process of learning how to identify those mental cues, oh this is my depression, or anxiety, and manage them properly, things will definitely get better.
Overall this experience of Blogging about my Senior Collection for The Fashion Diaries portion of this blog has been a real eye opening experience. Though most of these entries I've written weren't real time, and the story is not complete until I actually finish school and see my models walk the runway, I was able to reflect on my past time learning how to be a designer, rediscovering my love for the FCS Profession, and evaluating my past experiences in the program.
I've realized a lot of things about my major, how thorough of an education I've gotten, and what little I've learned from experiences interning, who I am as a person and what I want in life, and I'm only going to keep moving forward and try my best to navigate from here. As far as kicking school to the curb for good goes, it may take a while, but I'm still young and in no rush to finish blogging about this series and get out into the real world. I'll still work on my fashion design stuff and other creative outlets behind the scenes, but for now I want to take the opportunity to LIVE while I can rather than adhere to the status quo.
I'm always down for new experiences and discoveries, there's still a lot more to mine before I graduate and find my niche in the industry; it's my degree after all, so I can't give up on it yet, but creative wise, try your best and hardest, but when it's done, it's done. Be rid of it.
Deadlines are one thing that will never go away post student life. Though they may cause you unbearable stress and screw with your world outlook, sometimes it's good motivation to get you off your butt and get things done, especially with all the free time you're going to have left to fill without school in the adulting world. Meet challenges like a motherfucker, I say this all the time and will keep on repeating it till it sticks, but keep on swimming.
Thank you for following me along on this series, and hopefully I'll see you again around the same time next year for the craziness of Experimental Apparel Production. Take care, and if you're a fellow creative major working on your own set of works to be shown in a collective, perhaps have a few drinks along the way if you're not underage, that never hurts. See you soon.
Spring Semester is crunch time. It's the final semester leading up to the show and the final two courses related to the show you will be taking are Computerized Apparel Flat Pattern and Experimental Apparel Production.
These two courses are the most challenging in my opinion, and can only be taken the Spring semester of the show so you must do your work with extra care.
In Computerized, you will learn how to make patterns digitally, using one of the industry design programs called TukaTech, and participate in a class project, or "mini collection," if you will, for the class that will be themed and separate from the show, presented at the beginning.
For this class you will work with a partner, and make a garment divvying up the work between you, following class guidelines and a theme that everyone agreed upon and voted prior.
When I took this class the theme the class picked was David Bowie, and we designed and coordinated garments and fabric ideas according to the theme and class. Me and my partner came up with a few outfit ideas along with the fabrics that we were planning to use, and each of us presented it to the class for approval, critique, and changes.
The outfit that ended up being approved for us was a textured blazer jacket, painted logo tee shirt, and disco ball pants. We decided that my partner would work on the jacket since it was her idea, me on the pants, and both of us would do the shirt if we had time.
I had fun in this class learning how to do patterns digitally, although I cringe at doing computer tasks, and it was fun coming up with the craziest "groovy" designs possible to suit the theme. Honestly the theme we picked was definitely not something that I would probably do on my own, because I tend to not really like crazy or silly styles, but it was fun to work outside of my comfort zone and collaborate with a partner and see what we could come up with.
Overall our class collaboration was a success and everyone really enjoyed our Bowie Tribute.
After the completion of the Draping course in your Fall Semester, next comes Winter Break, a magical time filled with holiday magic and endless amounts of, limited, sewing space.
Your next challenge will be to complete a certain number of optionalFreestyles, garments that can be anything of your choosing, 4 maximum, that will be included in your collection if approved, and exist to extend and streamline it, so the total number of school projects won't look so short and you can show more of your skills if you wish.
If you've planned and researched well, you should know about the details and inner workings of the show, so you could already start designing, making, or have some idea of what those 4 or less, or none if you wish, garments will be.
Take advantage of your time off and enjoy your holidays, and get to work!!
For my collection I really wanted to do some freestyles, but due to time constraints and the fact that I wouldn't be able to handle the workload if it were more than five garments, still need to fit the garments to a model after initial construction and coordinate/gather accessories etc, I decided not to do any and stick to the school projects.
It's an abhorrent reality, disappointing and depressing, especially after I spent so much time at school and worked so hard learning everything, but a reality nonetheless, and with how everything is right now I need to stick with something I can handle. This collection definitely won't be the last time I ever make anything, or even perhaps, be in a show, so until then I need to try my best to pull through.
Is fashion design for me? It still doesn't look like it right now, but it's going to be a struggle to motivate myself to graduate and complete the work I still have left to do until then. Let's hope everything works out.
It's the start of your SENIOR year!!!!! Everything that you've worked for is about to culminate in one glorious moment this year, and it's time to finally set things into action.
Along with the normal repertoire of GEs, general education classes, and other courses you've taken for your major, perhaps a part time job or two, one of the main challenges you're taking on right now is your Draping course, a course in which you learn how to design by draping fabric on a mannequin and making a pattern for a garment in that way, almost in reverse. Gone are paper patterns and slopers, stencils, thick paper patterns used as a starting point for making patterns using Flat Pattern methods; you've gone 3D!
What fun!! Your mission in this class is to make 2 project garments using draping methods, following class guidelines, and submit them for the show. It's the most hands on of all of the classes you've taken so far and getting up close and personal with fabric and your mannequin should be a lot of fun.
The first project we had to make was a corset design and I made the one above. I draped both the corset and the skirt on a mannequin, therapeutic sometimes but also you reach a point in experimenting where you're like, kill me, and experimented with dyeing fabric for the first time because they didn't have the color I was looking for for the skirt. It only came in cream and I really wanted black.
Because the fabric wasn't all the way synthetic, and it was cream, I thought it would be easy to dye it black using fabric dye specifically made for synthetics and boiling it for an extended period of time. Many hours later and looking like a witch using a hotpot stove in the backyard of my house, the color didn't stick as well as I thought it and I ended up with a purple skirt.
Saddening, and you would think I would be disappointed because the original plan failed, but I actually really liked the dark purple color and the contrast it made with the black top. It gave me an excuse to use color in my collection and have it still look dark and elegant:)
For the second project I designed an oriental looking top and rose shorts. This project was kind of a failure and ended up looking more like butterfly wings than inverted roses. It was a complicated design even though I loved it so much, and I had a lot of trouble draping it as I couldn't quite wrap my mind around the subject, but in the end I was quite satisfied with the design even though the last one didn't quite fit with my theme, and I think I'll just save it in my design bank and fiddle with it later.
Overall draping was an amazing experience. Though extremely frustrating and stressful at times, it was fun and I learned a lot and developed a new respect for designers whose construction methods revolve mainly around this method. If you ever get the chance to make clothes and fiddle around with fabric and a mannequin, I highly recommend it. Asides from Couture though, draping is pretty complex.